The intention of transnational corporations (TNCs) in Japan and the Republic of Korea to increase their share of foreign R&D in the future appears to be particularly strong compared with TNCs in other parts of the world.

The average firm in the UNCTAD survey spent 28% of its R&D budget abroad in 2003, including in-house expenditure by foreign affiliates and extramural spending on R&D contracted out to other countries. The share of R&D workers abroad in total R&D employees was similar.


Although the majority of the R&D conducted abroad takes place in other developed countries (the US and the UK are the top two destinations), a large number of the responding companies also carry out R&D in developing countries. Current locations in the developing world hosting overseas R&D of the world’s top R&D spenders include China (3rd global destination in terms of number of times mentioned), India (6th), Singapore (9th) and Brazil (12th).

A large number of other developing R&D locations (15 economies) were indicated by at least one of the respondents.